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(need) tips on using a slide

 
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dezb1
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Joined: 01 Mar 2009
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Location: glasgow

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:15 am    Post subject: (need) tips on using a slide Reply with quote

My lovely wife bought me a brass Dunlop slide today, apparently she seen it in a guitar shop window and thought I might like it. The problem is this my friends, Iíve never been able to coax a usable sound from a guitar using a slide. Any hints or tips would be appreciated (Iím looking to get a more ambient wash kind of sound rather than the Duane Allman blues type thing)
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Reece
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Kent, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

when i had a slide (it's gone somwhere and i can't find it no more) i used to really quite like volume swells (courtesy of the knob) combined with sliding up to the chord i want. heavy reverb of course.

or tremolo picking very close to the bridge so theres less obvious pick noise and coaxing a bow-ish sound out of the guitar. distortion and 'verb too.
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filtercap
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Joined: 10 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Random stuff -- maybe something in here will be helpful:

Using fingers instead of a pick makes it easier to mute the strings you don't want, as well as any extraneous sounds from the strings you =do= want.

Try a delay pedal to add some atmosphere, or reverb like Reece is saying. It adds depth to the sound and helps smooth over the imperfections.

Instead of parking the slide directly above whatever fret you're playing and hoping to get your intonation spot-on, try a little vibrato and move the slide gently back and forth above the fret. It's sort of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle applied to music. With the slide constantly wavering over the fret, you're rarely right on the exact tone, but your constantly-changing tone gives the impression of being centered around the accurate note.

If you're in standard tuning, think of all the barre chords or partial chords you know up and down the neck. Wherever two strings in such a chord line up on the same fret, you have a useful two-string "chord" that you can cover with the slide. Using fingers (thumb and forefinger for example) helps you play just those two strings without hitting any of the others. Try sliding up or down to one of the notes, and then plucking the second note once you arrive.

Just concentrate on getting the slide in good contact with the one or two (or three?) strings you're playing, and getting a good tone from those. The slide does not have to be in contact with the unplayed strings, and it definitely doesn't need to lie over all six. If you're just using the top half-inch of the slide on the string(s) you want, you're fine.
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Peter Bond
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Joined: 15 May 2009
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Location: Middlesbrough, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know you said you didnt want the typical blues/country sound but maybe try an open tuning. Also make sure to mute the strings behind the slide. A pretty useless but fun trick is using the slide and trem but in different directions ie slide up as you doing some "divebombing" and vice versa.
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Noirie.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

High action and heavy strings help.
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dezb1
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Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 7327
Location: glasgow

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers for the advice,

muting the strings behind the slide makes quite a bit of difference to the overall sound, as does the vibrato around the fret.
Still need plenty more practice!
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